Good rest is a cornerstone of good health. Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of adequate sleep. A chronic state of fatigue can result in more accidents, impairment in attention and reasoning, an increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and increased healing time from injury or illness.
As far as knowing how much sleep you need, there is no magic number. Different age groups need different amounts of sleep, but even within age groups, each person’s needs are individual. Research has shown that adults who get around seven hours of sleep have the best long-term health outcomes.
To increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, try to keep a regular schedule. Going to bed at the same time each night and rising in the morning at the same time helps your body know when to sleep and when to be awake. If you are feeling sleep-deprived, it is better to take a short afternoon nap than to sleep in late the next morning.
Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that helps regulate sleep. Its production can be altered if your day is spent out of sync with the natural changes in daily light. If you spend much of the day in an office away from natural light and then spend your evenings in front of a TV or computer screen, your body may not be producing melatonin correctly. To help correct this, try to get periods of natural sunlight during the day. At night, turn off artificial light from televisions and computers earlier in the evening.
If you’ve tried to get better sleep, but often feel tired during the day, it may be time for some help. A doctor that specializes in sleep disorders can offer natural and medication-based strategies to help you get some needed rest. medication-based strategies to help you get some needed rest.